Ass always Harry Dresden keeps us on the edge of our seat until the end of the book. I always enjoy the antics of Harry and his crew
This is my favorite of the series so far. I love reading good faerie books and having Dresden getting really involved with them in this story was awesome for me. The faerie setup in this story flowed well with other books I've read, which was a huge plus too.
I like how Billy and the Alphas are still around, helping Harry out. I also enjoyed the fact that, while Murphy was still in the story, this book wasn't heavily involved with the police.
Over the course of the last three books of the Dresden Files series I've come to expect Jim Butcher to give me something different every time, not just in terms of Dresden's adversaries and allies but also in terms of the difficulty of his task and the character arc. I've come to look forward to finding out what supernatural species was going to come up on the stage next. I've come to relish the smart-alec and often beat up but never beatdown Harry. I thought I had the general system all worked out. And then Butcher surprised me.
What surprised me most was the emotional journey on which the author took Harry. The last time I saw this level of character development in a fantasy series was in the Abhorsen Chronicles and I was glad to discover a similar depth in the Dresden Files. One of my favorite things about Butcher's writing in this novel is how well he showed the extent of Harry's depression and downright desperation. Grave Peril didn't end very well for the wizard and from the very first pages the fallout was obvious in everything from dark sarcasm to the state of Harry's life. Things started to turn around so gradually that I almost missed it, but I sure was glad to see it happen. After all, who wants the protagonist to be semi-suicidal for the nearest foreseable future, right?
The story has grown too. All the familiar elements were there but this time every aspect was taken to the next level - the villain is the most powerful being Harry has battled so far, the life of the entire planet is at stake, and the guys who should be helping are leaving Dresden out in the cold. Fortunately it wasn't just about the circumstances. This time around experience and the willingness to take a risk weren't going to be enough, and fire and wind magic was useless against beings with unlimited power. This time it was as much about keeping at it despite a seemingly no-win situation, not falling apart because of guilt and pain over the past, and being able to tell who is a friend and who is a foe waiting to put a deadly spell on you.
If you're wondering what supernatural species is front and center in this novel you're in for a treat: this story is all about the fey. You know, Summer and Winter courts, Queens, bargains one's better off not making. It was dangerous and a little disturbing but, true to the Dresden Files ways, a lot of fun.
Reading this book was like starting to see what the puzzle will look like after having only the simpler pieces to work with. I look forward to seeing more of the big picture.
My least fave Dresden book to date. Harry stumbles through the story, has a typical "Ah Ha!" moment, solves the immediate problem, and voila, good for another week. Lots of problems still left to deal with though, so we shouldn't worry that Harry will take charge, grow a spine, or otherwise act like a real adult.
And the white council? Enough to make ME want to be a dark wizard, or whatever their equivalent is :-)
This is Book 4 of the Dresden Files.
I have said that these books keep getting better. This is the best one yet.
The political consequences at the end of Book 3 set the scene for the turmoil at the start of Book 4. Harry is in deep, hemmed in from all sides by the White Council, the Red Court, the Winter Lady, missing persons, and a whole list of people (dead, alive, and otherwise) who are trying to get him killed.
There is a lot going on in this book. It gets pretty busy in the middle and timelines are a little fuzzy, but in all it turns out to be a great political chess game where the answers aren't revealed until the very end. There are plenty of surprises here, and you are given the very first glimpse into the inner workings of the White Council.
Some of the issues are resolved in one way or another, but other issues remain open-ended and will hopefully be addressed in the coming books. Butcher is building an incredible world here and he is making each new adventure well worth the ride.